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McDonald’s serves WHAT in London?! The outrageous double standard in fast food.

If you’ve ever been to the U.K., you might notice that the fast food restaurants over there are a little bit different, and slightly healthier than they are here. In the past, I wrote about how it’s a common practice for food companies (everyone from Betty Crocker to Pringles to Quaker Oats) to reformulate their products with safer ingredients overseas, while they continue to sell us inferior products with unhealthy ingredients here in the States. If you walk into any McDonald’s in the U.K. you’ll find organic milk available for children in their Happy Meals, and no chocolate milk.  Just think about that for a minute…

McDonald’s serves organic milk to children in the U.K.? But not here in the U.S.?

McDonald’s also serves organic milk with their porridge (oatmeal), coffee and tea! You’ll also find healthier items, like pineapple and carrot sticks that you won’t find at any McDonald’s in the U.S. – also without preservatives. Their fries aren’t cooked in oil that contains TBHQ (a derivative of butane) or the anti-foaming agent dimethylpolysiloxane (an ingredient in silly putty) like they are here. Isn’t it funny that the oil in the U.K. seems to work just fine without these ingredients?

McDonalds V4

Pull through the Taco Bell drive-thru and you won’t be able to order Cinnabon desserts and big Mt. Dew Baja Blast Frozen drinks because these super sugary “treats” simply aren’t available. If you dine at Pizza Hut, you’ll get to take advantage of a free unlimited salad bar full of fresh vegetables (like they used to have in the United States but discontinued). I’m not saying everything is healthy in these restaurants, because it’s certainly not – but, it’s definitely different than what we’ve got going on here in the U.S. Not only are their ingredients different, but they are serving up completely different ingredients and menu choices. One startling thing I noticed is that many of the menu items in the U.K. contain far less sugar than the versions that they serve us in the U.S. 


Five Fast-Food Restaurants Serving Up More Sugar In the U.S.:

1.  McDonald’s Chocolate Shake (without whip cream or cherry on top)

If you order a large chocolate shake in the U.K., you’ll get it in the classic smaller cup (16.9 oz.) that I remember as a kid. This is about the same size as a medium size shake now in the U.S., as cup sizes have grown dramatically over the years. McDonald’s has changed their shakes for the worse in the U.S. and now serve new larger versions (22 oz.) with whipped cream that contain an astounding 120 grams of sugar. In the U.K. that large shake still has a whole lot of sugar (67 grams), but it’s so much less sugar than what we get here at home. Taking into account the bigger cups sizes in the U.S., ounce for ounce, the U.S. McDonald’s shake without whip has 33% more sugar than the U.K. version. 

2.  Pizza Hut Pepperoni Lovers/Pepperoni Feast Thin Crust Pizza (14” large/8 slices)

Not only would you get to take advantage of that free unlimited salad bar in the U.K., but when you order this pizza it only contains 16 grams of sugar, versus a whopping 40 grams in the U.S. version. That’s 151% more sugar!

3.  Subway Turkey Ham Sandwich (6″ with 9-grain wheat bread, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and onions)

Subway used to be one of my go-to “healthy” sandwiches before I stopped eating processed fast food. Their Turkey Ham Sandwich isn’t exactly high in sugar, but here in the U.S. you’ll get over 56% more sugar (8 grams of sugar for 217 gram subway sandwich) than if you were to order the exact same sandwich in the U.K (5.4 grams of sugar for 228 gram sandwich). 

4.  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (20 oz. venti, semi-skim/2% milk with whip)

Following my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte investigation, I couldn’t help but wonder if Starbucks was serving up the same ingredients in other countries. I obtained the complete list of ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice latte in the U.K., and my hunches were correct. Not only did they reformulate their recipe with safer ingredients, but it also contains a lot less sugar. The venti Pumpkin Spice (2% milk with whip) in the U.S. has a whopping 58% percent more sugar than the U.K. version. A “tall” latte in the U.S. (small size) has almost the same amount of sugar as the Venti (large size). 

Starbucks also doesn’t use use caramel coloring in the U.K., which proves this is a totally unnecessary ingredient. Instead, they color it with beta carotene (from carrots) and don’t use preservatives. Starbucks is telling news agencies here in the U.S. that they’ve got a “team in place” working on phasing out caramel coloring in the U.S. But, they’ve already done it in the U.K., so why can’t they just serve the same, safer, product here?

Starbucks PSL UK

*Caramel Color Level IV contains 4-MEI, which is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. The National Toxicology Program also has determined caramel coloring level IV compound 4-MEI to be a carcinogen.

5.  Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut

A plain Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut in the U.S. has 52% more sugar than the U.K. version. Not only is the U.S. doughnut slightly smaller (49 gram size), but it’s got more sugar, ringing in at 10 grams, versus 7 grams in the U.K. doughnut (52 gram size). If you eat more than one doughnut, those extra sugar grams can add up quick. 

My mind was reeling when I found this data.

Why are they doing this? In the U.K., restaurants are required to let you know if their food contains any genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, with a warning on the menu. If they simply remove all GMO ingredients, they can avoid this obligation.

One of the most prevalent GMO crops in the world are sugar beets. Most sugar in the U.S. actually comes from GMO beets, and no longer from sugar cane (which is generally more expensive to produce). According to Ken Roseboro of the Non-GMO Sourcebook, non-GMO ingredients tend to cost food manufacturers 25% to 50% more. So, here in the US it’s easy for food producers to just switch to GMO sugar beets to save money and keep pumping our food up with more of it than they do overseas without taking a hit financially. On packaged food containing GMO sugar, the ingredient list can still say “sugar” and they are not required to tell us if it’s GMO here in the U.S.. For restaurants it’s even easier, because they don’t need to even tell us the ingredients if they don’t want to.

There are very few GMO warnings labels on menus in the U.K. because restaurants know that customers overwhelmingly don’t want to eat GMOs. It’s simply more advantageous for them to serve GMO-free food in countries with GMO labeling laws. This could cost them more money as non-GMO sugar is more expensive to produce, so one viable option is for them to simply use less sugar which actually benefits consumer health in the long run in multiple ways. Meanwhile many of the same food companies continue to fill our “food” here with cheaper GMO sugar, and do everything they can to make sure that those labeling laws don’t pass here in the US.  

We are getting the short end of the stick.

When I look at the menu items at these U.K. restaurants: organic milk, free unlimited salad, coffee without caramel color, non-GMO food and less sugary options – I feel like we are getting the short end of the stick. Sure, I realize that not all of the food in the U.K. is better, and some things are even worse than what we’ve got here, but when you look at the complete picture, they are definitely getting a better deal. Just last week the great-granddaughter of the co-founder of General Mills spoke up and made the news asking shareholders: “Why not here?”. She asked this simple question citing evidence that General Mills makes GMO-free versions of its food in Europe and Asia, and labels GMOs in 63 countries – But not in the United States, even though it’s entirely possible for them to do so.

Knowledge is power.  

I am sharing this information with you to spread the word to let companies know we won’t stand for inferior and less healthy products. When these companies tell us that it’s not possible, or it’s too expensive, we know that they really can because it’s already being done. This is such an easy request –  we simply want the same healthier options that they are serving in other countries. They may not initially want to do this, but if consumer demand is strong enough, they will. The truth is, as more food manufacturers seek out natural and non-GMO ingredients, they will become more readily available, as they are in the U.K. and Europe. So, please share this post with everyone you know and raise awareness of this very important issue. Let’s raise the bar here in America and persuade these companies to bring these safer food products here for us and our loved ones, not just for citizens in other countries.

With Much Love,


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437 responses to “McDonald’s serves WHAT in London?! The outrageous double standard in fast food.

  1. I’m an American living in France and I see these differences very clearly (though I don’t often eat American fast-food here). One of the things to consider is that American-style fast-food is quite a bit more expensive here (around 8 euros for a good-sized burger and U.S. Medium fries and drink–which is the largest size here). The other point is that McDonalds and the other chains are smart–they give people what they want. They’ve realized, as have I, that the French (and other Europeans) don’t like their food as sugary as Americans do and they, on average, care much more about the quality of their food. The American consumer is culpable alongside the big fast-food chains. If enough people demand change and actually buy more because of those changes, the chains will listen. But I’m willing to bet that most Americans will will keep choosing the french fries over the side salad or yogurt parfait…and they won’t be willing to pay much more for better quality at a fast food joint.

    1. Eric, exactly!
      People in the US get this because companies are giving us what we want. Last time I went through Taco Bell, the line was around the building, and the person in front of me was upset because they had just run out of the Cinnabon desserts.

      Some things are sacrosanct-nobody needs to mess with our Krispy Kreme, and I know what happens when a school gets rid of chocolate milk! On the other hand, have a decent salad bar is a huge plus.

      1. If you don’t label GMO if it is so, then Companies with NO-GMO should say so in their products. That leaves the rest with GMO.

    2. I completely agree with Eric as well! Being from Europe, now living in USA. I visit very often and I only let my kids have McDonald in Europe. Quality is much, much, much better. Like Eric said, it’s also much more expensive to eat at McDonalds, or to have a coffee at the Starbucks. Lot’s of local restaurants offer happy hour during lunch time with 3 course meal that is comparably priced. I find that many adults rather eat at the restaurant then fast food chain. Fast food chains are mostly visited by tourists and kids lured on happy meal toys.

    3. I also agree with Eric. I am from the US and currently living there. I lived in Ireland for a number of years. I also did a study abroad through Europe and the UK for a couple months when I was in college. In Ireland McDonalds uses local beef for their burgers because there are a lot of Irish people who wouldn’t eat there unless they used their beef. I actually like the Irish McDonalds burgers best but they taste very different than anywhere else I’ve been.

      In Europe there aren’t a lot of cereal options because they don’t want sugar for breakfast yet in the US grocery stores have whole isles dedicated to cereal. I found that even Starbursts tasted somewhat gross to me in the UK and when I looked into it I found that its because there is far less sugar. My English friends say they don’t like US Starbursts because it is too sweet for them. These companies do their research and they sell what there is a demand for. I could never find a restaurant that sold a soft drink size larger than 22oz anywhere in Europe or the UK. Yet the Wendy’s medium size is a 32oz in the US.

      If you want these companies to sell healthier foods than work towards changing the people that buy their products. I also found that with the exchange rate while I was in Ireland that a small cheese burger meal cost about $13 at McDonalds and it is only $5 in the US.

    4. I couldn’t agree more! I’m a dual French/American citizen and have lived in both countries. I always notice a difference in how I feel and how food tastes when I am in Europe compared to the States. It is alarming how sweet most foods taste to me when I first return to the States. It’s even more alarming how quickly I get used to that added sugar. Another big thing that I have noticed is how low the bar is set for many Americans regarding quality and taste of food. I feel like this would not be the case if better options were the norm. It’s a shame US food laws don’t protect its citizens the way that they should. I’m glad articles like these are being published because we need to know!

    5. “The other point is that McDonalds and the other chains are smart–they give people what they want.”
      That’s not quite right. They are “smart” but they give Americans what they know are addictive: sugar/salt/fat so they will become even more addicted and keep coming back for more. Ugh. Like in Super Size Me and Fed Up.

      It’s just awful how they ruin the health of Americans. Sugar/Fat is as addictive as heroin.

      I don’t know what the answer is… victory gardens?

    6. Eric is correct – BUT as the former FDA Commissioner David Kessler found, it’s not entirely by our – American consumer – choice.

      These ingredients are addicting. We’ve gotten hooked and they continue to mine that addiction for profit. They are adding things in there to hook us, just as much as tobacco companies used to figure out how to get the most nicotine in a cigaratte.

      Kessler combed through the garbage of all the major chains and found how they manipulate sugar, salt and fat to create combinations that provide such satiety that we are hard pressed not to come back for more and more. Sugar-cocaine: the impacts on our brain are remarkably similar.

      Bottom line: for these companies it’s all about profit and they’ve found if they can create desire – through our addition to fat, sugar, and salt – they’ve locked in a customer; just like the drug dealer on the corner.

      Kessler’s book – remember not a fanatic, but the former FDA Commisioner – find it at your local or Amazon: “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite”

      1. OMG… McD’s is dealing Crack food 1 1/2 blocks from my house!
        I get fat just sniffing the air I breathe. I’m directly east (wind comes from west) of
        McD’s Food Restaurant.
        McDonalds on McDonald. Spare ‘rib’ me.
        So I stopped breathing.
        And I lost .weight…wait…
        I cant do that …. I have Mc D, Taco Bell, Wendys, Subway surrounding me within 4 block radius.
        In order to not “let them in my brain…like grocery stores try to do…I think I will avoid them all at THEIR costs and save my $$$$ and life .
        I AM smarter then they are.
        I buy from low and highest shelf in stores….NOT what THEY TELL ME TO BUY…I WILL APPLY THIS TO ALL FAST FOOD OUTLETS ALSO.
        THEY CAN “BITE ME”
        Just Smarter than the Average bear!!!

      2. Glad to see someone pointed out the addiction factor. I went to a lecture which actually showed how companies hired research teams to deliberately include ingredients to addict the public gradually. //also, I noticed French food has become worse (restaurant ingredients, others) since I was there a couple decades ago. I believe there is an attempt to addict Europeans to bad “food” as well although the process may be being carried out more slowly. Hard as it is to believe, there may also be an experimental factor in the differing menus.

      3. This type of comment always angers me. No one is forced to eat at McDonalds or shovel down the Mac and Cheese, and having the occasional Big Mac for lunch won’t make you a McD’s addict. The real problem is lifestyle choices. (And before everyone goes all “this is all poor people can afford” on me, I will note that a 1 lb bag of beans and a 3 lb bag of rice costs about $4-5 at the grocery store and will feed multiple people).
        Why we have become a country that just blames everyone for our poor choices is beyond me. Yes, sugar can be addicting if you eat it all the time; I am not disputing this. But I’m tired of hearing about the “evil” food companies “tricking” us into eating processed food.
        If a full meal comes out of a box and costs $1 it’s likely that it’s unhealthy. We know that, we just won’t take responsibility for making ourselves fat. Or admit that we took the last way out. I am constantly hearing from people that they just don’t have the time to cook healthy or prepare snacks instead of buying unhealthy, prepare ones-but we find the time to watch our tv shows, browse on facebook, comment on tmz, etc.
        Stop having Starbucks everyday and try brewing your own to go at home. Stop having fast food everyday and pack your own lunch. You are not in a prison where this is the only food you can eat. And no one has a gun to your head to eat poorly. Take responsibility for what you are putting in your body and stop whining about the consequences.

      4. About 35 years ago I read a book called: Eating may be Dangerous to Your Health. It stated how food is being manipulated to make people feel hungry all the time and more. So, it has been going on for a while. Vote with your money! Don’t buy the thrash! That is the only language understood by the hucksters. And learn to prepare foods that are fresh and not so convenient.

    7. Sadly it’s not that we want our food more sugary… It’s that they have increased the amount of sugar to keep us coming back for more. They know how to create an addict and pressure their crap food to us. They have spent millions if not billions on lying to us and keeping us in the dark about our food. There is an ever growing population of Americans who are waking up to the madness that is our for supply and are trying to do something about it. We are up against big money and sadly our politicians who are in a position to help us are turning their backs on us in the name of the almighty dollar

  2. Not sure the difference mitigates very much – in the end it is all pretty unhealthy. I live in London and am not a big fan of fast food, but if I indulge I think it would be as an exception rather than as the rule, but a nod in the direction of healthy eating here means little – its rather like having a slice of lemon with a bottle of vodka…..

  3. I am from London and I have been to the USA 21 times, so I have had fast food from both sides of the pond, I must admit, the fast food in the UK is much better than in the USA, the quality is better, for example, chicken in UK’s KFC is decent white chicken, yet when I have eaten it in the USA, it also includes the more grisly, grey (sorry gray) meat and just tends to be a lot fattier. and even the burgers in Mc D and BK seem to be a better product over here.

  4. I lived in Texas for 2 years, and now in Australia for the past 18 months, but I’m originally from the UK. The food in all US restaurants that we went to, with the exception of The Soup Plantation, tasted saltier or sweeter and, although much larger portions and cheaper, the quality was noticeably poorer. I totally agree that it is terrible that these companies can produce food one way in Europe and Australia and another in the US.

    That said, I want to clarify a couple of things that have been glossed over by the article.

    1) Unless it has changed in the last year since I went to a UK Pizza Hut, the salad isn’t free, although it may be unlimited once you’ve paid for it.

    2) The food is substantially more expensive in the UK and Europe for the same menu items. So, if they improved the quality in the US the prices would go up, and that just isn’t something Americans seem to accept. In general I was struck by how much more accepting people were of cheap and low quality items. In the UK we tend to pay more but expect things to last.

    3) A lot of these changes are down to consumer pressure, but the majority actually come from government regulation. It is in the governments interest to improve health, not just altruistically but because the healthcare is provided by the government. The idea of more government interference with the sacrosanct ‘free market’ is something that a large proportion of Americans would find unacceptable.

    4) There is less of a culture of ‘fast food’ in the UK and the rest of Europe, not so much among the younger generations where it is pretty commonplace, but with older people. You would not often see people over 50 eating at a burger restaurant in the UK unless it was on the highway (what we would call a service station) or they are with grandchildren. We have more variety of restaurants and convenient food available that is (sometimes only marginally) healthier than we could find in the US, certainly where we lived, where our choices seemed to be fast food or restaurants that served the same salty sugary stuff but charged more, or very expensive fancy French places.

    1. Salad is free and unlimited with any main meal at Pizza Hut in the UK and has been for some time – even says it on their website.

      1. That’ll teach me not to fact check before I open my big mouth! I stand corrected. And gladly so, it’s a great idea. I didn’t know they did that but I’ve usually gone specifically to have the buffet with salad so haven’t looked at main meals.

  5. Well, the bottom linenis that here in Europe there is a lot if consumer pressure on one side and good governmental regulations on the other.
    Therefore and to stay in business food recipes need to be modified to be GMO free since Europeans don’t like the big lobbies from the US such als Monsanto – as a prime example McD needed to fully change their frappes and real fruit smoothies *name comes from the US: why would you even say real fruit- Europeans expect a smoothie to contain real fruit from the beginning * to reduce sugar contents drastically and lower calories because Europeans wouldn’t buy such a US product….

    Bottom line is that it is not the companies that are evil, they will do what the laws ask them to do… Therefore, governmental limitations would need to be put forward – no chance in a country where the Monsanto’s of this world have too much lobbying power – therefore, the only remaining power lays with the consumer: don’t buy their crap anymore and they will check why guest counts are down and eventually change their formulations…

    Food for thought.

    1. Thank you for mentioning this. It’s important to remember that companies can offer healthier choices but why would they if the consumers demand to eat junk.

      1. We aren’t demanding to eat junk, they are demanding to keep us in the dark about what is in our food. They are keeping Americans ignorant on purpose. They take away our good jobs, pay us less, sell us cheap crap food and goods and distract us with false news and brainless sports so we go along blindly ignorant and feeling like we have no choice but to accept this as our fate. Anyone who tried to stand up and make changes is labeled a conspiracy theorist/socialist (insert any derogatory label you wish) and get us fighting amongst ourselves. This country is hopeless until we get money out of politics

  6. the wonderful thing that happened to me after tasting the mac dos burgers in the states a few times was that i woke up and asked myself….what am i putting into my body??? i was so disgusted that now i’m proud to say i’m a total vegetarian since nearly 3 years….and i check all my grocery shopping for hidden additives etc….here in switzerland i get mostly organic fruits and veggies….ok it’s all a little more expensive..but certainly worth it….i never buy pre cooked meals even when i have no time to cook……everything is better made from scratch ….our parents never had weigh problems like most people nowadays….maybe it is time for everyone to go back to the kitchen and start having fun preparing real food again…and it works out cheaper in the end….

    1. Hi there, I’m totally disgusted also. I’m anxious to put anything in my mouth after this info. Vegan sounds good right about now. I’ve been kept in the dark for so long. It’s time for a positive change. Little steps. Little steps.

      1. Look at PETA for more motivation! It’s hard for me but since you already chosen it for health, you can look at the moral reason too!

    2. The problem here in the U.S. is that the parents both work too much and don’t have time to go their kitchens and cook from scratch or raise their children…they can’t even put their cell phones down long enough to read ingredients. It is much more convenient to pick their children up from daycare and go to drive through windows and pick up dinner. Most will tell you that organic is too expensive and they can’t afford it, but yet each parent drives new vehicles and each have a cell phone and are constantly paying Dr. bills because their kids are sick all the time…go figure!

  7. When will people learn and accept the fact that all and I mean ALL processed food is bad for body. ALL. And if you’re eating from any of the above places she mentioned, then you do not get it.

    1. I don’t think most consumers are unaware of that fact…choose it anyway though. That’s the American Way!

  8. The differences in the quality of food being served has much less to do with the companies themselves and more to do with organizations like the FDA that have much more lax regulations than their European counterparts. Of course American fast food companies will serve poor quality food because it is cheaper to produce and will therefore maximize profits. Our governments allow them to do that, so why wouldn’t they? Sure it’s at the expense of the greater public, but this wouldn’t be the first time big companies put profit over people. If you ask me, the best bet is to just not eat fast food and avoid exposing yourself to those harmful ingredients. Until the FDA betters food regulations for American fast food chains, and until we Americans begin to expect more from our food, we will continue to be exposed to through our food to carcinogens and other toxic compounds.

  9. UK food is the way it is because of government intervention, some of it consumer driven but not all of it. A lot of Brits actually resent having the government make these choices for them, even though it is of course much better for them, referring to it as a nanny state. There’s no way any government would be able to do that here in the US and no company is going to willingly spend more to produce products that they aren’t having any trouble selling in their current formulations. As much as I would love to see regulations here like the ones implemented in Europe, the sad fact is it will never happen.

  10. UK food is the way it is because of government intervention, some of it consumer driven but not all of it. A lot of Brits actually resent having the government make these choices for them, even though it is of course much better for them, referring to it as a nanny state. There’s no way any government would be able to do that here in the US and no company is going to willingly spend more to produce products that they aren’t having any trouble selling in their current formulations. As much as I would love to see regulations here like the ones implemented in Europe, the sad fact is it will never happen.

  11. Its not McDonalds or any other places responsibility to serve anything at all. They are a business and its their job to make money. They dont sell stuff like that here because people wont buy it. They dont sell stuff like that there because people wont buy it. The consumers drive the market. If you dont want to buy that stuff, dont. Go to the store and buy what you want. Making light of the differences is fine but dont act like its the companies fault.

  12. Sadly, because of the addictive nature of sugar, Americans will not want there fast food to change. We don’t even realize how much sugar we put into our bodies daily. We are on auto pilot and take little time to pay attention to our eating habits. These companies, including DD, which hasn’t been mentioned have struck it rich in America. We are a gold mine because of our addictions and fast paced environment.

  13. I wish there was an unglazed Krispy Kreme donut… the sugar is not needed the donuts themselves are awesome… Are you listening KK?

  14. Hello,
    Maybe if in US don’t be so unhealthy the demand of carrots sticks will increase instead of the chocolate milk.

    1. Even though that was pretty rude, I still agree with you completely. If not everybody wanted to go to Mcdonalds all the time, maybe they would give us organic milk (I doubt that one, but still). Or, if they lost weight and demanded a less salty and sugary pizza, maybe, just maybe, the society would change. But I don’t think it will happen any time soon.

  15. European governments do not allow many of the ingredients the U.S. governing bodies allow in food. Such as GMO’s, certain pesticides and artificial colors and flavorings. The role of government is to protect and serve its’ citizens. The US government is protecting and serving the best interest of its corporations not it’s citizens. Both contribute monetarily to the government but the corporations have more clout (muscle and money).

    On a recent trip to Italy I was in awe of the freshness of their food, the flavor of their food and their approach to dining. In the US “farm to table” is becoming trendy but in Italy it is a way of life – as it used to be in the US before the industrialization of our farms and food system.

    It is so much less expensive to eat healthy and fresh food when compared to cheap fast food IF you consider the medical expenses down the road that go along with consuming “cheap” fast and processed foods.

    The U.S. is essentially poisoning its own people with its food supply. We need the same type of legal push back that toppled the tobacco companies to overcome the the GMO and artificial food producers. If I knew of such an organization I would certainly become involved.

    1. So very well said Mary Ann. It is appalling what our government allows in our food and so sad that they are a corporate owned government and could care less about the people except taxing us to death and fattening their pockets. What Monsanto and other companies like them and big pharmaceutical companies get away with should be against the law! How does it make sense to anyone that we eat food that has been poisoned with chemicals and yet tons of money is being spent to find cures for cancer and diseases, when research has shown time and again what these chemicals are doing to our bodies and do in fact cause cancer and multitudes of diseases and most people know this and still eat it and feed it to their kids.

    1. Use Your Own Brain and Decide for Yourselves.
      Choices choices …make the right choice for yourself and let others make their choices.
      I choose to see the reality of the issues concern and will make my own choice….before someone chooses for me.
      Now thats freedom…. not blaming Company…Gov’t….Neighbors…just taking the responsibility for myself.
      I agree with alot of statements …not all …but good to see increased interest and intelligent conversations …this is as far as I got. Thank you all for sharing your informative thoughts.

  16. If you live in America and you still eat McDonalds especially… you’ve made your choices… We should be shocked our fast food is more gross than everyone elses fast food… smh… Who in America doesn’t already know you shouldn’t eat that crap

  17. Companies make money from deserved service. It is the responsibility of consumers to be served what they want. Mcadonalds didn’t force anyone to buy unhealthy food. People love that junk food.

  18. Fast food in the UK may be better than in the USA, but that still does not make it good food. I still refuse to eat fast food and make my own meals from scratch. It seems we are evaluating the bottom levels and not even looking at what is actually good.

  19. I asked McDonald’s the following questions:

    When, if ever, will McDonalds severe organic foods, milk, and non-GMO items in its U.S. restaurants? When, if ever, will McDonalds meaningfully incorporate healthy ingredients to its products?

    McDonald’s never really answered my questions, but here is the response I received:

    Hello Janet:

    Thank you for your interest in our food. We believe that we have an important responsibility to ensure the food we serve you and your family is safe. This is a commitment that we take very seriously.

    Some of our ingredients do contain GMOs, just like many ingredients found in grocery stores, restaurants and home kitchens. Many food and safety regulatory bodies around the world have recognized GMO ingredients to be as safe as their conventional counterparts. There are currently eight GMO crops available from GMO seeds in the U.S. – corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. These crops are very common in the food industry and may be used in a number of ingredients.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald’s. We hope to have the pleasure of serving you again soon.
    McDonald’s Customer Response Center


  20. I am from Europe ,Germany. I never ate and never will eat at these places,but it is true the Food over there is much better Quality .
    You want to know what is in McDonald’s Food in Germany, you go on their Product Side ,click on the Item and a List will show up ,telling you all the ingredients.If you
    prefer more Information, just call their Customer Service and you will receive the answer you are looking for
    Why they can not be honest here in the US? Never understood that.

  21. My wife and I discovered a franchise operation in France called “Flunch,” it basically stands for “Fast Lunch.” You can eat very well AND inexpensively on food that is very fresh and well prepared. Their restos are always packed, with happy diners who wouldn’t hesitate to bring their children. Believe me – the French would not tolerate what passes for fast food on this side of the Atlantic. The restos are patronized by everyone from blue collar to white collar workers. Everyone goes away satisfied, and confident that they will not be spending the rest of the day being sick. They are fit and slender, and will not pack their tracts with empty calories. We have a lot to learn from people from the countries of our forebears!

  22. Oh yea, Europeans really care about their health and what they’re putting in their bodies. I lived in Germany for 3 years and smoking was a way of life. Our welcome to Deutschland was the smell of cigarettes and fog of smoke in the Frankfurt Airport. Everyone smoked, even a lot of kids. They literally have cigarette vending machines where anyone can buy them, including kids. We used to make jokes about how the Germans loved to smoke so much that they would smoke while standing next to a non-smoking sign. It was absolutely disgusting. It’s ironic that they care so much about GMOs, sugar, and fat when they are killing their bodies with far more toxic carcinogens, nicotine, tar, formaldehyde, cyanide, arsenic, and ammonia, just to name a few. Yea, I think I’ll take the sugar any day.

  23. In Denmark, where i live, hydrogenated oils have been illegal for decades – and although the industry climed that it would be impossible to survive without – it has been no problem!

  24. A few years ago I was on a very short trip to the Midwest and found that even your crisps (chips) tasted sweet to me. I could taste the extra sweetness in all the foods I ate there and the portions were ridiculous.
    As part of the trip I was supposed to put on a strawberries and cream social and in the shops near us we couldn’t even buy fresh cream only sweetened aerosol cream. Your food has actually put me off visiting again.
    I’m sure there must be some good wholesome food somewhere but I didn’t find it.

  25. “we won’t stand for inferior and less healthy products”??

    Well you might not – but millions of your countrymen will – and do – 24/7. That’s why more than two thirds of US adults are overweight or obese.

    If you don’t want to eat unhealthy stuff – stop spending all your money in fast food joints and make something at home instead!

    1. Nearly two thirds of people in the UK are overweight (62%), according to UK govt stats, so something is clearly not working there either.

  26. Greed. Of the multinational that wants max profit and of the consumer that wants bigger portions for less money.

    If either party gave up greed the menus could and would change.


  27. The problem is that consumer demand is not there. If it was, then our fast food would already be healthier. The way that fast food companies handle their food products is based off what we want as consumers. That is how they make money. As long as the majority of the USA only care about size, price, and taste, that is all the fast food places will care about.

  28. That is one reason I have not been to McDonalds in over 6 months I finally woke up and made a choice to get back into a healthy lifestyle and stop eating all the crap. If you look at all the health problems we have here in the states then look at what all those people with health problems including myself eat then you have your answer slapping you in the face. I started making changes but there was a lot of damage done already. Its damage that the body can repair over time if given the proper nutrition and some exercise. Now as a country until we stand up together and make changes like say not going to these places and writing into the company as we stop going and telling them why also writing to and not voting for the same people who are in office year after year after year then we have no rite to complain.

    Now with that said.. If you do exercise your rite and make your voice heard you have every rite to complain I say start sending a message too our government and voting out every incumbent no matter what you are R, D, or Independent just vote against who ever is in the seats now if we could pull off just one election where every yes EVERY incumbent who’s seat was open was voted out I think that would send a nice message to do what the people want or get the hell out…..

  29. 1. you can plant your own food…micro farming. No pesticides and you can get non gmo seeds. 2. I don’t know how someone visited the U.S. and could only find aerosol whipped cream, I can find whipping cream easily in any store, often organic is available too. Companies should be held to higher standards but blaming addiction on your fast food habit is ridiculous. We are not in the dark here, it is no secret that these foods are not healthy. As for the idea that none of our parents/grandparents or what have you were overweight…well, bull. MORE people are overweight now and a larger part of the problem is portion control. Quoting the calories in a happy meal is not gonna cut it because even young children are now eating much larger portions. Back in the day a normal burger was nowhere the size it is today and sodas were not all you can drink. Fast food used to be a treat, not something people were eating once, twice, even 3-5 times a week. I cannot count the number of times my Mother brought us to fast food. Wake up, if you overeat even “healthy foods” you WILL be overweight. Calories in, calories out. Stay home, add fiber, fruits and veggies to your diet…and push away from the table Before you have a “food baby”. We are a product of the boom after the bust of the Great Depression. After great deprivation, we just bout lost our minds and Mothers stuffed their kids, afraid it wouldn’t last..remember the saying”people are starving in…”? We have plenty, we will have plenty…slow down people..gluttony is not your friend!

  30. The US is held hostage by chain restaurants. This “food” is served everywhere so there’s little other choice. Even if there is people will just stick to what they know. Always makes me laugh these places call themselves a “restaurant”. The only way the small guys can compete is to offer the same cheap low quality and oversized portions. It’s not quite as bad up here in Canada but even here people can’t get over their obsession with Tim Hortons. Who knows what’s in their coffee!

    In Europe everything is on a smaller scale so there is more competition from the small guys who are generally better quality and trusted more by the locals. There’s quite a difference between the UK and rest of Europe though. It’s also more expensive to eat out so people don’t live on junk so much. It’s getting worse though..

    From what I read about GMO labelling in Australia, only unpackaged products require labelling unlike Europe. Anything processed doesn’t require a label. Might be the same in NZ. So McD’s down under will probably contain GMOs. They’ve had plenty of their own issues with GMO cross-contamination such as Canola.

  31. Read “Seeds of Deception” by Jeffrey M. Smith. I am less than half way through the book but at one point states that in Britain that so many articles and research were revealed regarding the problems with GMO (genetically modified) that McDonalds and many main companies changed their food products to use non gmo foods, or remove that food from the ingredients and re-do their recipe. People fought back. But here in the US, although people are becoming enlightened many are still in the dark. The information that is out for the public to read is far less and has been a cover up all along. Lets face it, it’s all about money in the end.

  32. If you think American fast food is bad wait till you her. What they serve sick people at the hospital.

    Most common American hospitals serve the most sugar, filled crappy food on the planet.

    When i was sick in the hospital I noticed it. According to edgar cayce he said that for the body to be sick it automatically is to acidic and ones PH balance is off.
    You would think that only foods high in alkaline would be served at hospitals.
    Oh NO! Not in the USA, they serve gello, salty chicken broth, bread not made with whole grains,sugary sherbert ice cream cups just to name a few.
    If a person is sick they should only eat foods high in alkaline like cucumbers,rasberries, greens, etc.

  33. No point in talking to the Fast Food companies. They are there to make a profit. What we need is the FDA stepping in & setting proper guidelines! In Europe they have restrictions that we just don’t have here!

  34. Firstly i’m from the Caribbean living in the US. I rarely eat fast food, but on arriving in the US i was completely blown away by sizes of the vegetables and meats in the grocery. I agree with most of the statements here, but i would like to know, how much better is the quality of meats and vegetables sold in the grocery compared to fast food, and how organic are organic foods sold in the grocery? I believe change is needed in all foods whether it be fast food or ingredients sold in the grocery. While visiting in France the meal portions were smaller but you can taste the difference in quality which i really enjoyed, and i also taste it when i visit my country Trinidad and Tobago. But it will be an uphill battle to get better quality foods in the US, but it’s always better to try than just sit back and only complain with no action. Thanks everyone for the eye openers.

  35. Why somebody eat in Mc donalds? Why somebody eat these sh..ts? Im talking about everyone fastfood, Is it so hard eat healthy prepared food at home or in restaurant. I live near McDs long years and ive never been there. And i NEVER would take there my kids.Its so hard to eat healthy? Then u wouldnt have probblem, which one is more healthy.

  36. Why somebody eat in Mc donalds? Why somebody eat these sh..ts? Im talking about everyone fastfood, Is it so hard eat healthy prepared food at home or in restaurant.?I live near McDs long years and ive never been there. And i NEVER would take there my kids.Its so hard to eat healthy? Then u wouldnt have probblem, which one is more healthy.

  37. Dear Vani,

    I am delighted to notice that you recently try to add some scientific proof to you claims and you said in your response to the recent critiques that you would from now on change any inaccuracies in your articles.

    The silly putty-chemical does not appear on a European ingredients’ list but it is common practice to use it for the safety of the workers as it prevents foaming of hot oil. It has no effect in the final product and is hence considered a “technical aid” and not a food additive or an ingredient. Being an expert in Food Sciences I am sure you already knew that, but it slipped. So, please change it.

    And another thing which I am sure you already knew and just slipped your attention. Prices of different sugar types are not the same in the US and Europe. The European Union is very protective of its sugar industry. Sugar in Europe is predominately made from non-GMO sugar beets grown in the EU. In order to keep competitors from overseas off high duties apply to non-EU sugar. In other words, GMO sugar from the US is too expensive anyways.

    All the best,

  38. Vani,
    This makes me so angry.
    Thank you for exposing these company practices. If these companies can make their food healthier overseas, there’s nothing stopping them from doing the same here. We need to demand it. Our money talks. I have stopped going to Starbucks
    ( that was so hard for me to do) and I’d already eliminated fast-food, but I still care about my fellow Americans who are eating at these establishments and the substandard quality of food they are being served. It’s not just about me. It’s about our communities. Thank you for your advocacy.

  39. Vani, I love your site and your mission and I have been following you for a few years now (even before you went full time). Thank you so much for the awareness you spread. You ask why there’s a difference in UK vs. US, because companies are scared about the consequences. We need stricter food laws in the US, there’s no point arguing corporations if they don’t have to meet any standards while producing food products. It is such a shame that a developed country like US falls behind on so many basic things like providing good & healthy food sources to their citizens.

  40. Australia is the same, our beef,chicken etc
    is 100% aussie grown with no antibiotics, same with all the produce. all chicken products is 100% chicken, even our nuggets are 100% chicken breast/tenders
    all the pork in some chains are stow free . semi free range, no caged eggs allowed anymore in some chains. australia is doing pretty good

  41. Thank you so much for the valuable information about how America is getting cheated out of a healthy diet! I kept hearing how other countries have better choices, I would like to know what can we do? Is there a governmental agency we can contact or petition about stricter laws on ingredients that go into our life source. There are many Americans, myself included that truly care about what goes into their bodies, and I agree with one of the above comments who state that we get addicted to sugar etc. without the awareness. Thus, we need to stop talking about the same issue and act upon this poison ~ But how?

  42. The argument of whipped cream and a cherry in a chocolate shake is pretty weak, as if Americans don’t have common sense or will power to say, “Leans off the whipped cream and cherry, please.” Of course, even if they did, they’d likely not add “please” since every american is so entitled now.

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